College of Business
School of Accounting
Dr. Paul A. Copley, Director
Department of Computer Information Systems and Management Science
Dr. Richard G. Mathieu, Head
Department of Economics
Dr. Ehsan Ahmed, Head
Department of Finance and Business Law
Dr. Pamela Peterson Drake, Head
Program of Hospitality Management
Dr. Irvine Clark III, Head
Program of International Business
Dr. Marion M. White, Director
Department of Management
Dr. Paula S. Daly, Head
Department of Marketing
Dr. Irvine Clark III, Head
The College of Business is committed to preparing students to be active and engaged citizens who are exceptionally well qualified leaders for success in a global competitive marketplace.
Shared Values and Goals
The JMU CoB aspires to be among the top five percent of undergraduate business programs in the nation, striving for excellence and continuous improvement in undergraduate learning. Its student body comes primarily from the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and, to a growing extent, from the Northeast.
Directed toward a full-time student population, the CoB's undergraduate programs are based on solid foundations in general education and an integrated business core curriculum. Beyond these foundations, the CoB offers students a wide variety of programs that emphasize theory, application, and experiential learning in a business discipline.
CoB faculty members are committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for students, with an emphasis on developing leadership, technology, communication and integrative skills.
The CoB will be a preferred source of student talent for employers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The CoB takes an entrepreneurial approach to graduate programs, developing niche programs for which there is a need and for which the faculty has competence.
Student learning is assessed frequently. Assurance of learning programs are designed to assess learning in the business core, each of the undergraduate majors, and each of the degree programs within the CoB. Consistent with academic freedom, faculty members are encouraged to take an active role in innovative curriculum development and assessment processes designed to improve the educational experience.
The CoB recognizes that students and faculty face ethical choices. As such, it maintains the highest expectations for students regarding JMU's Honor Code. Furthermore, the CoB strives to prepare students for the ethical tensions and dilemmas they will face in the course of their professional lives. Additionally, the CoB demands the utmost in professional and ethical conduct by its faculty towards students, the community of scholars, and society at large.
CoB faculty members believe that a balance between teaching and research is the most effective way to educate their students. Scholarly contributions complement classroom teaching by helping faculty members maintain currency in their discipline. Furthermore, students gain a deeper understanding of subject matter, a greater appreciation of a discipline's body of knowledge, and added enthusiasm for learning when they are taught by active scholars.
Faculty members are committed to a broad array of intellectual pursuits and scholarly output in discipline-based scholarship, contributions to practice, and learning and pedagogical research. The relative emphasis on these three areas will vary from one faculty member to another depending upon education, experience, and interests, but the pursuit of knowledge in each area will be used to enhance students' learning experiences.
The College of Business offers baccalaureate degree programs leading to a B.B.A., a B.A. or a B.S. degree. All degree programs offered by the College of Business are accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The vast majority of the baccalaureate programs lead to the B.B.A. degree and have essentially the same general structure consisting of the four components shown below.
- General Education component
- B.B.A. core component
- Major component
- Non-business electives component
General Education Component
General Education is required of all students regardless of their major or professional program. While much of the general education component of a student's baccalaureate program is completed during the first two years of study, a student has four years to complete this component. Typically, students complete their General Education course requirements during their last two years of study.
B.B.A. Core Component
B.B.A. majors must complete all of the B.B.A. core component as part of their degree program. Four of the ten lower level (100 and 200-level) B.B.A. core courses must be completed during the first year of study, in order for the student to continue as a business major and progress to the second year of study. Similarly, the remaining 100 and 200-level B.B.A. core courses must be taken during the second year of study in order for a student to be considered for formal admission to the College of Business for the third and fourth years of study. Detailed information about which courses must be completed during the first year and which courses must be completed during the second year – along with information about formal admission to the College of Business – is provided in the subsequent section Progression Standards for the College of Business.
The following courses comprise the B.B.A. Core Component:
COB 191. Business Statistics (3 credits)
COB 202. Interpersonal Skills (3 credits)
COB 204. Computer Information Systems (3 credits)
COB 218. Legal Environment of Business (3 credits)
COB 241. Financial Accounting (3 credits)
COB 242. Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
COB 291. Introduction to Management Science (3 credits)
COB 300A. Integrated Functional Systems: Management (3 credits) 1
COB 300B. Integrated Functional Systems: Finance (3 credits)
COB 300C. Integrated Functional Systems: Operations (3 credits)
COB 300D. Integrated Functional Systems: Marketing (3 credits)
COB 487. Strategic Management (3 credits) 2
ECON 201. Principles of Economics (Micro) (3 credits)
GECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 credits; available in General Education Cluster 4)
MATH 205 or MATH 235. (3 or 4 credits; available in General Education Cluster 3)
The College of Business offers baccalaureate degree programs with the following eight academic majors: accounting, computer information systems, economics, finance, international business, management, marketing, and quantitative finance. Most of these majors consist of 24 credit hours that are taken after a student has been formally admitted to the College of Business and has completed COB 300. The major component of the degree program is designed to be completed in three semesters after the student has taken COB 300, and students should plan their course work with that timetable in mind.
Admission to the College of Business permits a student to enroll in COB 300 and to be formally admitted to a major. However, some majors in the College of Business may impose standards that exceed those of the college as a whole. A student must meet both the College of Business requirements and the requirements of the major in which he or she seeks to enroll. Refer to the appropriate sections of this catalog for specific degree requirements for the individual majors in the College of Business.
Non-business Elective Component
The B.B.A. degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours of undergraduate course work. Fifty percent of this work, 60 credit hours, must be taken outside of the College of Business. In counting the 60 credit hours of non-business courses, B.B.A. students may include all hours taken in general education (usually 41), up to a total of nine hours in economics (note that GECON courses must be counted as economics) and three hours of COB 191. The remaining hours, to bring the total to 60, must be taken from any department outside the College of Business. Students should carefully select these non-business electives to help them gain additional knowledge and expertise for their careers and personal lives.
for the College of Business
Any student admitted to JMU can declare one of the eight majors offered in the College of Business. However, students must meet certain progression standards for each degree program – B.B.A., B.A. and B.S. – as described below. In addition to the progression standards for the three degree programs, certain majors have additional progression standards. Refer to the appropriate sections of this catalog for specific progression standards for the individual majors in the College of Business.
B.B.A. Program Progression Requirements
The requirements for any student enrolled in one of the B.B.A. programs are delineated below.
First Year: A student must complete four of the following five B.B.A core courses – COB 191,
COB 204, ECON 201, GECON 200 and MATH 205 – and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.500 or higher in all JMU course work in order to continue as a business major and enroll in the sophomore level B.B.A. core courses. Also, a student should have received no more than two course grades that are "D+," "D," "D-," "F" or "WF" grades – or any combination of "D+," "D," "D-," "F", and "WF" – in the ten B.B.A. core 100 and 200-level courses.
Note that repeating a B.B.A. core 100 or 200-level course on a "repeat/forgive" basis will NOT remove a "D+," "D," "D-," "F" or "WF" – for counting purposes – from a student's record, even if the student earns a grade other than "D+," "D," "D-," "F" or "WF" when the course is repeated.
A student with a cumulative grade point average below 2.400 will be notified that he/she will be referred to Career and Academic Planning for assistance in selecting a major other than business and will be dropped from any sophomore B.B.A. core courses for which the student had registered.
A student with a cumulative grade point average in the range 2.400-2.499 will be given the summer to achieve the requisite 2.500 needed to continue into the sophomore year as a business major. A student who fails to achieve the requisite 2.500 by the end of the summer term will be referred to Career and Academic Planning for assistance in selecting a major other than business and will be dropped from any sophomore B.B.A. core courses for which the student had registered.
Sophomore Year: In order to be considered for admission to the College of Business, a student must complete the six additional 100 and 200-level B.B.A. core courses – COB 202, COB 218,
COB 241, COB 242, COB 291, and the 100 or 200-level B.B.A. core course not taken during the freshman year – and must meet all three of the following criteria:
Have achieved a 2.800 or higher cumulative grade point average in all JMU course work.
Have completed at least 56, but not more than 70, credit hours at the time of enrollment in COB 300.
Note: There are certain exceptions to the 70-credit hour maximum, such as enrolling at JMU with earned AP credits, having a second major outside the College of Business or earning credits while participating in a study abroad program. Consult the College of Business Academic Services Center for a more complete explanation of the allowed exceptions.
Have received no more than two course grades that are "D+," "D," "D-," "F" or "WF" grades – or any combination of "D+," "D," "D-," "F", and "WF" – in the ten B.B.A. core 100 and 200-level courses (described above in this section of the catalog). Note that repeating a B.B.A. core 100 or 200-level course on a "repeat/forgive" basis will NOT remove a "D+," "D," "D-," "F" or "WF" – for counting purposes – from a student's record, even if the student earns a grade other than "D+," "D," "D-," "F" or "WF" when the course is repeated.
Admission to the College of Business and COB 300: Any sophomore who expects to meet the three criteria just described can apply for admission to the College of Business once the student has earned a minimum of 45 credit hours (including transferred credits). The student needs to submit a completed application form and a current transcript, which can be obtained via e-campus. The application deadlines are October 1 for students planning to take COB 300 in the following spring semester, and February 1 for students planning to take COB 300 during the following summer session or fall semester.
An application is valid for a maximum of two consecutive academic terms, as long as the student is within the 56-70 credit hour window previously referenced. However, a student wishing to apply a second time must request that his/her application be reactivated for the second consecutive semester.
While meeting the three criteria described previously will allow a student to apply for admission to the College of Business, it will not guarantee a student's admission. Admission to the College of Business is competitive, and enrollment will be limited to 750 students each academic year. Students will be rank-ordered by cumulative grade point average at the time of application and slotted into the academic term indicated on their application forms until the maximum number of students for each term has been reached.
A student whose cumulative grade point average fails to qualify him/her for admission to the term for which the student has applied will be notified and asked to apply for the next term, assuming that the minimum grade point average is maintained and that the student does not exceed the maximum 70 credit hours. Admission for the subsequent terms is not automatic, and each student must reapply. Students who have not been admitted to the College of Business will not be allowed to enroll in any 300-level College of Business course for which COB 300 is prerequisite or a corequisite.
Students pursuing a B.B.A. degree major who have completed the ten lower-level core courses but failed to gain admission to the College of Business and COB 300 will be eligible for a General Business certificate. The General Business certificate will be awarded if the student has completed the ten lower-level core courses and achieved a minimum 2.500 cumulative grade point average within the 56 to 70 credit hour range referenced earlier in this section of the catalog. The certificate will be noted on the student's transcript upon graduation.
Students failing to gain admission to the College of Business and COB 300 will not be eligible to receive the General Business minor unless they change to a major that has the General Business minor embedded in it as part of the major's curriculum requirements.
B.A. and B.S. Economics Program Progression Requirements
The requirements for any student enrolled in either the B.A. or B.S. degree program in economics are delineated below.
Students wishing to pursue a B.A. or B.S. degree program in economics must be formally admitted to the program in order to enroll in required core courses (ECON 331, ECON 332 and ECON 385). Quantitative finance majors can enroll in ECON 331, ECON 332 and ECON 385 without declaring an economics major. In order to be admitted, a student must meet all four of the following criteria:
Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.500 or higher in all JMU course work.
Have a 2.500 grade point average in all economics courses completed at the time of application.
Have earned a grade of "B" or better in MATH 205, MATH 231 or MATH 235 and in COB 191 or MATH 220, if the courses have been completed at the time of admission.
Once admitted, must spend at least three additional semesters at JMU in order to complete the degree.
Students who wish to pursue a B.B.A. degree program in economics must meet all of the College of Business admission requirements described in the B.B.A. Program Progression Requirements section as well as the economics requirements detailed in the B.A. and B.S. degree program described above.
B.S. Quantitative Finance Program Progression Requirements
Students wishing to pursue a B.S. in quantitative finance must be formally admitted to the program in order to enroll in the 300-level quantitative finance and finance courses required for the major. In order to be admitted, a student must meet all four of the following criteria:
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.500 or higher in all JMU course work.
Have a 2.500 grade point average in the following six courses: COB 241, ECON 201,
GECON 200, MATH 235, MATH 236 and MATH 237.
- Have no more than two "D+," "D," "D-,""F" and "WF" grades, including any courses for which there has been repeat-forgiveness to replace a grade in the student's GPA, for COB 241, ECON 201, GECON 200, MATH 235, MATH 236 and MATH 237.
- Have completed at least one mathematics courses from the following list:
Declaration of a Business Major or Minor
JMU students pursuing a major outside the College of Business who wish to change their current major to one in the College of Business must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.500 or higher on the date they submit a "Change or Declaration of Major" form. This policy affects students desiring to change their major to one of the following: accounting, computer information systems, economics (B.B.A. degree only), finance, international business, management, and marketing.
JMU students pursuing a major outside the College of Business who wish to declare one of the following minors – Chinese business studies, computer information systems, economics and management science – must be in good standing, meaning that they have a cumulative grade point average of 2.000 or higher, at the time that they declare the minor. The policy does not apply to first year students or transfer students during their first semester at JMU.
Business as a Second Major
A student enrolled in any JMU degree program other than the B.B.A. program who wishes to select a B.B.A. major field (i.e., accounting, computer information systems, economics, finance, international business, management, or marketing) as a second major must complete the following courses:
- All B.B.A. core courses, as shown above
- All requirements specific to the major selected
Transfer Credit Policy
AACSB International-accredited colleges of business generally allow only a limited amount of business course work prior to the junior year. Because of that restriction, accredited colleges are required to detail a process for accepting transfer courses.
To meet that requirement, the JMU College of Business has established the following transfer credit policy: The College of Business normally does not award transfer credit for courses that were taken at the 100 or 200 level if those courses are offered at the 300 or 400 level at JMU. If a transfer student wishes to receive credit for such a course, the following steps must be taken:
- The student must present the course syllabus and appropriate course materials to the department head of the relevant academic program in the JMU College of Business.
- The department head must determine that the course covers material similar to that covered at JMU. If the material is not deemed sufficiently similar, then the student must take the course at JMU. This decision is final and may not be appealed.
- If the material is considered sufficiently similar, the student may take a comprehensive examination covering the JMU course material and must pass it with at least a grade of 70 percent, or the student may choose to complete the course itself.
- If the student passes the comprehensive examination, the academic unit director will report that result to the College of Business Academic Services Center, which will prepare a course substitution form.
Additionally, each academic program in the College of Business will accept no more than two courses for transfer credit toward the major. The major is defined as the course work required by a major field of study in addition to the lower and upper-level B.B.A. core courses. For a course to be considered for acceptance in the student's major, it must have been completed in an AACSB International-accredited business program at a four-year university. Certain majors within the College of Business may have more restrictive policies on transfer credit. Those policies are explained in later sections of the catalog.
The JMU College of Business prescribes that at least 50 percent of the business credit hours required for the B.B.A. degree be earned at JMU. Specifically, this statement means that no fewer than 28 of the required credit hours in the College of Business be completed at JMU. Required credit hours include the B.B.A. Core and the courses required for the major. The following B.B.A. core courses do not count toward meeting this requirement: COB 191, ECON 201 and GECON 200.
Individual academic programs in the College of Business may have transfer credit limitations in addition to this overall requirement. Refer to the specific academic major.
Internships for Business Majors
Students with majors in the College of Business are encouraged to participate in at least one formal business internship prior to graduation. Most commonly, students serve as interns in business organizations during the summer between their junior and senior years, but internships are not restricted to that period of time.
In some cases, students may receive academic credit for internships. In such cases, the maximum amount of credit that may be obtained is three credit hours. The minimum requirements for such academic credit are the following:
- The student must have at least junior standing.
- The internship must be approved in advance by the Faculty Internship Coordinator and the department head in the student's major, and the student must be registered for the class credit during the internship experience.
- The intern must complete a minimum of 200 hours of work experience.
- The intern's immediate supervisor must submit at least one performance evaluation to the Faculty Internship Coordinator.
- The intern must submit a final written paper and participate in an exit interview with the Faculty Internship Coordinator.
- Internships in more than one program are permitted. However, double counting (i.e., receiving credit for a single internship experience in more than one major) is not permitted.
Some majors in the College of Business may have higher requirements than these minimum standards.
Computer Competency Requirements
All students majoring in the College of Business must be able to use current information technology tools and demonstrate the ability to learn new tools as part of their preparation for the professional world. Many business courses help students develop basic information technology skills in such areas as spreadsheet analysis, database management and Web page development. However, course work alone cannot provide students with the level of proficiency needed by employers and graduate schools. Consequently, students must take personal responsibility for developing their skills beyond the basics taught in various classes.
Many courses in the JMU business curriculum make extensive use of computers and software. Students are given hands-on experience in using computer technology to solve complex business problems.
Computer labs are conveniently located in several academic buildings and residence halls. These labs are intended for quick, short-term use by students as an adjunct to their class time. Relying solely on the labs for lengthy or complex assignments, however, is unrealistic; therefore, students should make arrangements to have their own personal computers outside the university-provided labs.
Since computers are essential in today's business environment, students with majors in the College of Business are strongly encouraged to purchase their own personal computers. Computers are available at discount prices from the university bookstore; however, computers meeting the recommended configuration may be purchased from many retail and internet sources. Various vendors also provide rental and leasing programs. Because technology is continually advancing, students should consult the College of Business Web site at to obtain the latest specifications on recommended minimum hardware configuration.
European Business Concentration
The European Business Concentration can be completed by taking COB 300A-D (Integrated Functional Systems: Management, Finance, Operations, Marketing – 12 credit hours) and COB 301 (European Integration, Culture and History – 3 credit hours) in Belgium as part of the Semester in Antwerp program.
These two courses will be taught in the context of the European Union and, as a part of the curriculum, students will visit and study European businesses (e.g., European high-tech startup companies, businesses in the Port of Antwerp) and the institutions that comprise the European Union (e.g., the Council of Europe, the European Parliament). In addition, students will visit business, governmental and cultural institutions in such countries as France, England, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria and others, depending on which semester the student goes abroad.
Students in this concentration will:
- acquire an in-depth understanding of the European business environment;
- learn about the institutions of the European Union;
- gain an understanding of the issues surrounding economic and monetary union;
- apply the integrated functional systems to the European market; and
- understand the role of culture in conducting business in Europe.
Chinese Business Studies Minor
The Chinese business studies minor can be completed by taking one Chinese language course, POSC 371 (Topics in Comparative Politics), HIST 341 (Selected Themes in World History), IBUS 298 or IBUS 498 – I (Business Environment in China and Southeast Asia), IBUS 298 or IBUS 498 – II (Chinese Business Operations), and MKTG 380 (Principles of Marketing). Note that business majors will take COB 300D rather than MKTG 380.
MKTG 380 (or COB 300D) will be taken at JMU. The other five courses will be taken in conjunction with the JMU Study in China Program, and will be taught by professors or instructors from Chinese universities.
Students in this minor will:
- become aware of China's history and culture;
- learn about China's political, social, and economic systems;
- become familiar with China's government, and business operations; and
- understand China's economic role in Asia and the world.